Tuesday, February 7, 2017

25 years of the Maastricht Treaty: From the birth of the EU to the Euro-phobia – FOCUS Online

At 7. February 1992, was signed here the Treaty of Maastricht, the EC, the modern EU. On the Basis of the Euro came later. On the anniversary of President Joachim Gauck on Tuesday Federal – and holds one of the last European political Speeches of his term in office.

But what is there to celebrate? The EU experienced one of the biggest crises in its history: Brexit, the Euro’s misery, Migration, debt, split between North and South, East and West, the success of the right-wing populists. And now the new US President, Donald Trump wants to drive a wedge in the Union. Maastricht, despite the European Malaise. To date, the 120.000 inhabitants in the metropolis is the most European city in the Netherlands and proud of it.

Maastricht is celebrating under the Motto “Europe Calling”

city leaders Cor of Haman tourist shows like the medieval city on the Maas river, with the picturesque streets. Except for Servaes Basilica and the Vrijthof square, he leads you to a different attraction. A cash machine on the market. “There was on 1. In January 2002, the first Euro note withdrawn,” he says proudly. The former spirit of optimism is felt in many corners of the city.

in December were reminiscent of Brussels lace, politicians and witnesses of the time in Maastricht on 25 years of the EU and to encourage a new departure. Under the Motto “Europe Calling” (Europe is calling), they had pointed out all the achievements. With this Motto, the city wants a positive debate on Europe to stimulate.

After the veterans has now all the youth of the word. Over 5,000 pupils, students and apprentices from all EU member States want to discuss on Tuesday about the future of Europe and to celebrate. Also, Gauck wants to come with young people in Maastricht into a conversation.

“It is time for new ideas”

From the EU Depression, not a trace, says the German Student Moritz Easter Huber. “The EU will not break apart. This is only a turning point for a new Plan.” Whence comes this optimism? “Europe offers us so many opportunities,” says student Patricia Senge. “Travel, Study, Work”. The two Germans involved in the festival program “Europe Calling”. “It is time for new ideas”, they say.

Of Maastricht will once again send out a positive Signal. Like the time 25 years ago. In 1991, as the Treaty had been negotiated, had been praised to the open relaxed atmosphere of the city.

Also, not unimportant for Maastricht – also contributed good food, and delicious wines to the good climate for Negotiations. This was not, of course, in the barren lunch notorious the Netherlands. Up to today, is told in Maastricht, the then French President Francois Mitterrand, in 1991, warned his colleagues Ruud Lubbers: “If you serve at the summit cheese rolls, then it is nothing.”

Europe in crisis

It was not, of course, to the delights of the Maastricht pots that the summit was a success. The optimism after the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold war had pushed the unification of Europe. In addition, the cooperation of the then twelve States was easier than that of today, 28.

Today, Europe is in crises, the Governor of the province of Limburg, Theo Bovens know. And yet, he is optimistic. The riser can just come from the border regions, he says. “Here, Europe is alive.”

the Anti-Europeans dominate in the Netherlands, the political stage

The Three-country corner of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, according to his words, “a Mini-EU”. For the people there, there is no Alternative, says Bovens and even pleads for a much closer cooperation. “In the case of social laws, tax, or education, the borders are still open.”

is this Pro-European attitude of Maastricht, an island in the Netherlands. There, the right-wing populist and Anti-European Geert Wilders dominated the political scene. In five weeks, a new Parliament is elected. And Wilders “party for freedom” can be with the course against Europe and for the closure of the borders, the strongest force. The Europe would be a nightmare.

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